It's 2021, do you still think Fiverr is a scam?
Updated: Jun 29
Fiverr has gained exponential popularity as a platform to find professional freelancers for companies and small business owners alike - especially if your budget is a current hurdle.
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In the realm of services, a buyer can find anything from logo designs to virtual assistants. Though it is a website that is largely trusted, there are some still skeptical about utilizing Fiverr services.
Let me first say that this post may seem completely biased in favor of Fiverr because I am a former freelancer with a Fiverr profile and I utilized a team of freelancers to start my marketing journey, but after being removed from the platform on a technicality with no additional ability to contest or review — which I explain in further detail below — I do have quite a few warnings for those looking to use Fiverr as a platform to begin a small business.
With that said, it’s 2021, if you are still afraid to use Fiverr take a quick look at the information below where I attempt to debunk the misconceptions of finding outsourced team members on the popular website.
How does Fiverr work?
Before we begin let’s review how Fiverr works.
A service offered on Fiverr is called a Gig. The service is offered by the seller (freelancer), and bought by the buyer.
Five dollars is the popular starting price for offers and all “Gigs” are single purchases, meaning there is no long-term obligation.
The best part about Fiverr is the fact that all gigs are at a single price point and buyers never have to be concerned with additional charges.
Likewise, sellers never have to worry about being underpaid their listed price.
Similar to other gig services like Postmates or Lyft, all transactions are done within the Fiverr platform - payment information is never revealed to either party, and transactions are typically done via Paypal which offers greater protection.
Of course, Fiverr does take a small fee from both parties. I have received fees as high as $4 as a buyer and a 20% commission is taken by Fiverr from each gig a seller completes.
However, to offset this commission, the site does provide the opportunity for sellers to receive additional compensation in the form of tips.
A Warning For Fiverr Sellers
Before understanding the gist of using Fiverr as a platform, I have to throw in a word of caution — from my own cautionary tale.
Prior to using Fiverr, be sure to comb through the Terms and Conditions in order to be sure that your business plan and marketing strategy aligns with what the company allows.
For example, I learned the hard way that Fiverr doesn’t allow external traffic-driving ads to your seller's page.
This means you cannot take advantage of Google and Facebook ads. You must rely on organic traffic and your profile's SEO in order to get new customers.
This leaves much to be desired and long gaps where you aren’t receiving paying gigs — even at a $5 per order threshold.
Image Courtesy of Fiverr
However, Fiverr is a great jumping-off point for those new to the gig economy and side hustle game, but remember that Fiverr did gain popularity for its “five-dollar” gig price and you almost have to adhere to low prices in order to remain competitive.
If you decide to go in at a higher price be prepared for Price Galjour‘s who are expecting low ticket prices.
Selling low and selling fast will help you build your portfolio but won’t fill your wallet.
Use Fiverr as A Payment Portal For Real-World Clients
The best way to combat this is to use Fiverr to network, build relationships, and upsell your packages.
In my personal experience as a seller, not a single sold gig came organically through the Fiverr platform and my best success came from treating the site as a point-of-sale for my personal clients.
Image Courtesy of Fistbump Media
From my research I find this to be true with most freelancers on the platform.
If you are not ready to put in the time needed to market and build your Fiverr clientele, just use this as a way to supplement your existing income.
If you are ready, I would suggest going full career, building a “Fiverr Pro” verified account, and following all of the seller resources provided by the site.
Fiverr Pro verified accounts are highly desired and pushed by the site as hand-vetted sellers that can offer their services to engaged business buyers.
You can become a Fiverr Pro by applying to become a part of the program. For more information on Fiverr Pro, visit Fiverr’s article How to Become a Fiverr Pro.
You Have To Work Harder Before You Buy On Fiverr
Fiverr does a great job of protecting its buyers and is safer than other alternatives to outsourcing like finding help on Craigslists.
Fortnite Coach via Fiverr | Image Courtesy of Elizabeth Carter Life Coaching
No financial account information is shared with the Seller and all transactions are monitored through Fiverr’s secure eCommerce platform. Should issues arise in your order, Fiverr has a "customer service team" there to mitigate all conflicts.
On a good note, Fiverr is far easier to navigate than other freelance platforms.
Each seller provides gigs that can be searched by keyword. If you are looking for package design, search for “package design” in the Fiverr search tool.
Each Gig will provide previews of the seller’s work and the work completed for customers that have left a review; if enabled by the seller.
Choosing a seller is a task you shouldn’t take with a light-heart, this is the reason why so many people feel like Fiverr is a scam. Finding a good provider will make or break your project and experience.
Stay on the lookout for sellers who have confirmed their skills through Fiverr’s vigorous skills test. Scores are provided within the profile of each seller who has taken the time to complete these assessments.
Also, consider the fact that some popular services may be oversaturated with sellers who are inactive, high-in-demand, unprepared to work, or behind on current projects.
In your research, don’t be afraid to reach out to the seller via Fiverr’s messaging platform prior to purchasing.
Consider the Obvious.
While most gigs start at $5 consider the triple constraints theory.
All projects are carried out under certain constraints – traditionally, they are cost, time, and scope.
Do you want it Fast, Good, or Cheap? You can have something Cheap and Good, Cheap and Fast, or Fast and Good - but not all three.
If you want it Fast and Good it will cost you more. If you want something fast and cheap it may not be as good.
My recommendation, which is the opposite of most, is to start with the sellers at the top end of your budget and search with the aim to try to find someone in the middle.
If you are still a skeptic, my second recommendation is to start with a Fiverr Pro, these sellers tend to be a bit more expensive but as mentioned previously, they are hand-vetted by Fiverr themselves and are guaranteed to provide quality work.